Eli Reid: Start a Women’s Coaching Program on the Greens

Eli Reid, the 2011 North Florida PGA Section Northern Chapter Youth Player Development Award winner, is a PGA Assistant Professional at Deal Golf & Country Club in Deal, New Jersey.

In October of last year my PGA Head Professional, Patrick Keenan, and myself started making phone calls to over 60 women who were not currently golfers. We set up a fun meet and greet where we played trivia and had some cocktails. The goal was for the women to meet each other in a comfortable environment. We had 15 women attend, and it was a blast. We then offered free clinics to get them out to the course. This all took place in October and November so when spring rolled around we were prepared to start our “New Gals on the Greens” Program. I believe the most important part of the program is the fact that we start close to the greens and work out from there. There is nothing more intimidating for new golfers than to stand on a tee box 400 yards away from their intended target. Our fun, laid back program allowed women to get comfortable enough to get on the course by themselves and start playing with their friends.

We have had over 25 women over the course of the summer attend our “New Gals on the Greens” program. They then started playing on their own which generated over $1,000 in golf car revenue. We wanted to use this initiative as a feeder for our 9- and 18-hole women’s groups in order to allow the steady growth of our entire women’s golf program. We realized many of them did not have golf clubs so we provided clubs for them to use to start. As they became more involved in the game, many women started shopping for new outfits and accessories. To date we have generated over $7,000 in sales in the golf shop. The two biggest impact points were golf clubs sales and membership sales. There is nothing that makes you more valuable to a club than an increase in membership. Because most of the women had never played before we generated two brand new memberships along with five members who upgraded to a family membership which allowed their wives to play. So start your new women golfers off in an easy, comfortable spot on the greens. They just may get hooked.